Westminster Cannot Block Scottish Independence 640


Boris Johnson’s facetious, point-scoring reply to the formal request from the Scottish government for agreement to a second Independence referendum is an act of extreme arrogance. An off-the-cuff campaign remark from a single politician has no weight in weighing the will of a nation, and I presume Johnson is not arguing that every political statement Nicola Sturgeon or Alex Salmond has ever made has the force of law.

The “once in a generation” remark has no more force than “die in a ditch”. It is not contained in any official document, and appears in neither the Edinburgh Agreement nor the Smith Commission report. For Johnson to base his refusal of a vital democratic step on such a flimsy pretext is extremely arrogant. It is born of colossal self-confidence. He is perfectly confident the highly centralised Westminster system will allow him simply to ride roughshod over Scotland.

Johnson is of course right. You may be surprised to hear that I agree with the analysis of McHarg and McCorkindale published today that a legal challenge arguing the Scottish Government’s right to hold a referendum is a waste of time, not least because if such legal challenge looked like succeeding the Tories would simply pass Westminster legislation outlawing the referendum explicitly. There is no doubt whatsoever that such legislation would be upheld by the UK Supreme Court under the doctrine of the Sovereignty of (Westminster) Parliament.

I also have no doubt that a futile and time-wasting court action is going to be a key part of the Scottish Government’s approach in response to Johnson, of pretending to do something about Independence a few more years.

McHarg and McCorkindale are quite right on UK Constitutional Law, which is where their expertise lies. They know very little about public international law and still less about international politics.

The truth is that UK Constitutional Law is as irrelevant to Scottish Independence as Soviet Constitutional Law was to the question of Latvian, Lithuanian and Estonian Independence. The UK is disintegrating and not the smirk of Johnson, the frippery of the UK Supreme Court nor the witterings of lawyers can hold it together.

Independence is not a matter of domestic law. It is a matter of international law alone. Independence is the existence of a state in relation to other states. It is gained not by any internal process- internal process is utterly irrelevant, and in 95% of cases does not involve a referendum – but by recognition of other states, formalised through the General Assembly of the United Nations.

I touched on these points in my brief statement at the AUOB press conference after the march on Saturday.

In its judgement on Kosovo, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) specifically confirmed that the agreement of the state being seceded from was not necessary for Independence. That is the position in law, whatever any UK court may say. Indeed it was the UK government itself that put this argument most clearly to the ICJ in the Kosovo case.

5.5 Consistent with this general approach, international law has not treated the legality of
the act of secession under the internal law of the predecessor State as determining the effect
of that act on the international plane. In most cases of secession, of course, the predecessor
State’s law will not have been complied with: that is true almost as a matter of definition.

5.6 Nor is compliance with the law of the predecessor State a condition for the declaration
of independence to be recognised by third States, if other conditions for recognition are
fulfilled. The conditions do not include compliance with the internal legal requirements of
the predecessor State. Otherwise the international legality of a secession would be
predetermined by the very system of internal law called in question by the circumstances in
which the secession is occurring.

5.7 For the same reason, the constitutional authority of the seceding entity to proclaim
independence within the predecessor State is not determinative as a matter of international
law. In most if not all cases, provincial or regional authorities will lack the constitutional
authority to secede. The act of secession is not thereby excluded. Moreover, representative
institutions may legitimately act, and seek to reflect the views of their constituents, beyond
the scope of already conferred power.

That is a commendably concise and accurate description of the legal position. It is the legal opinion of the Government of the United Kingdom, as submitted to the International Court of Justice in the Kosovo case. The International Court of Justice endorsed this view, so it is both established law and the opinion of the British Government that a state has the right to declare Independence without the agreement or permission of the original state and its political or legal authorities.

I have continually explained on this site that the legality of a Declaration of Independence is in no sense determined by the law of the metropolitan state, but is purely a matter of recognition by other countries and thus acceptance into the United Nations. The UK Government set this out plainly in response to a question from a judge in the Kosovo case:

2. As the United Kingdom stated in oral argument, international law contains no
prohibition against declarations of independence as such. Whether a declaration of
independence leads to the creation of a new State by separation or secession depends
not on the fact of the declaration but on subsequent developments, notably recognition
by other States. As a general matter, an act not prohibited by international law needs
no authorization. This position holds with respect to States. It holds also with respect
to acts of individuals or groups, for international law prohibits conduct of non-State
entities only exceptionally and where expressly indicated.

So the key question is, could Scotland get recognition from other states for a Declaration of Independence? The attitude of the EU will be crucial and here Catalonia is obviously a key precedent. But it is one that has been totally misunderstood.

The vast majority of the politicians and functionaries of the EU institutions viewed the actions of the Francoist government of Spain in assaulting the people of Catalonia who were trying to vote, with extreme distaste. But they held their noses and supported Spain. Because over 20 years experience as a diplomat taught me that the EU functions as a club of member states, who will support each other in almost any circumstance. So Spain was supported.

But the UK is shortly going to stop being a member. It is Scotland, as a potential member with a long history of valued membership and a firm intention to join, which will have the natural support of the EU, the more so as there will be a strong desire to get Scotland’s fishing, energy and mineral resources back within the bloc. The disintegration of the UK will also be encouraged as a salutary lesson to any other states that consider leaving the EU. The political forces within the EU are very, very strongly behind recognition of Scottish Independence.

Once the EU decides to recognise Scotland (and crucially it is not a decision that needs unanimity in the EU vote, an extremely important and overlooked fact) the rest will be easy. The UK is detested in much of the developing world for its continued refusal to decolonise Diego Garcia, for the Iraq War, and for the whole history of colonialism.

So how should Scotland proceed? My advice would be to declare Independence at the earliest possible opportunity. We should recall all Scottish MPs from Westminster immediately. We should assemble all of Scotland’s MEP’s, MP’s and MSP’s in a National Assembly and declare Independence on the 700th Anniversary of the Declaration of Arbroath, thus emphasising the historical continuity of the Scottish state. The views and laws of London now being irrelevant, we should organise, as an Independent state, our referendum to confirm Independence, to be held in September 2020.

The key criterion which governments have traditionally used to recognise another state is control of the state’s internal territory. (They do not have to use that criterion, each state can recognise on whatever basis it wishes, but that is the usual one cited). This is where the Catalonian Declaration of Independence failed, the Catalan Government never managed to enforce it on its own ground.

There is going to be no process of Independence agreed with the British government. We have to take Independence, not beg for it. At some stage, there is always the danger that the British government may try to react by sending in the British Army to enforce Westminster’s will. If we believe we are an independent nation, we have to be prepared to defend ourselves as an independent state should the worst happen. Calling a confirmatory referendum as the first act of the Independent state would make it difficult for Johnson to justify sending in the British Army to try to prevent it, but we cannot rule it out. Hopefully that will not involve anyone getting killed, but we must be plain that Westminster will never voluntarily allow us to leave and may physically attack us if we try.

I appreciate this may all sound very unpleasant and confrontational.

We have two alternatives now – we stand up for ourselves and our inalienable right of self-determination in international law as defined in the UN Charter, or we grovel before Johnson’s smirk and try various “legal” and “constitutional” avenues in terms of the UK’s utterly irrelevant domestic legislation. Which will get us nowhere, slowly.

The time has come for Scottish Independence. With a referendum denied by no fault of ours, we must seize the moment and take the Independence for which they will not let us vote.

——————————————

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640 thoughts on “Westminster Cannot Block Scottish Independence

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  • D MacDonald

    To call for revolution or UDI is irresponsible in the extreme. Revolution eats its own children as we know. To pretend that Scotland is an occupied colony is ridiculous. We entered into the union because we were bankrupt and we still are even though we receive more money per head of population than the rest of the UK. Anyone wanting a good laugh should read building a new country by the common weal it’s complete pie in the sky, full of inaccuracies and wild assumptions. How long would it take for speculators to crash a Scottish pound and whose embassy will represent you if you have problems abroad. As for joining the corrupt, undemocratic and bankrupt EU we wouldn’t qualify under their own rules for membership. The SNP should show they can govern Scotland first, our infrastructure is falling apart. If you want to “stand in line at the broo with your claymore in your hand” as Dick Gaughan wrote be my guest but do not listen to those preaching revolution, it never ends well.

    • JOML

      So your suggestion, if we accept your assessment of Scotland’s current financial position, is that we stay put and continue to scrounge of our neighbours. Have you no shame?

      PS. I do not accept your assessment of Scotland’s current financial position.

      • Cubby

        JOML

        People like D McDonald are truly pathetic assuming it is a genuine person. Can a real person actually get so much wrong in a single short post. Naw it must be a propaganda poster.

        • D MacDonald

          I am a real person and my name is MacDonald NOT McDonald, the Mc’s swore fealty to the king and changed their name.
          My fore fathers fought at Bannockburn “My hope is constant in thee” is the clan motto, the words spoken by Bruce to Angus Og.
          What’s your claim to being a Scot? and what’s wrong with my post?

      • D MacDonald

        PS You don’t have to accept my assessment of Scotland’s current financial position, go look at the numbers, we are broke and no amount of wishful thinking can change it, yes we do receive a generous benefit from our neighbours which you would diminish if you had your way. By the way, it’s off our neighbours.

        • Cubby

          D MacDonald

          I have looked at the UK numbers and know how they pockle them – unlike you.

          ” We receive a generous benefit from our neighbours” total clown if you believe this propaganda. Bloody embarrassing also. You sound if you do grovelling to a very high standard.

  • Skye Mull

    What is the logic of a bid for Scottish independence from the U.K. coupled with a bid for continued EU membership?
    As someone of Scots decent living in England, I note that Craig is an Englishman living in Scotland. How much of this is driven by a former Ambassador’s run-in with Jack Straw and a previous Westminster establishment (as outlined in Craig’s excellent published books).

    • MBC

      Don’t be ridiculous. Craig is half Scottish by birth and 100% Scottish by choice. Plus this is about democracy. Not ethnicity and the constant attempts to portray it that way are false. You do not live in Scotland and are English by choice. You are also English by culture as otherwise you would understand why 62% of us voted to remain in the EU which a federal institution, the UK is the British empire. You have no right to claim you know Scotland 2020 or the mood of the country.

      • MJ

        “62% of us voted to remain in the EU”

        The referendum was UK-wide, obvously there were regional variations. Scots were only entitled to participate in the referendum because they had already voted to remain in the UK. Had they not they would have been out of the EU automatically, before they could say Jack Robinson.

        • Cubby

          MJ

          Yes and there would have been a lot of people in England Wales and NIreland saying Jack Robinson as well. Your grasp of the actually reality of what would happen is just not there.

          Scotland voting for independence ends the treaty of union 1707 and therefore ends the UK. This is turn means there is no member state called the UK of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and both the Kingdom of Scotland and Kingdom of England would have to reapply for membership if that is what they wished.

          You use of the word remain and leave in connection with Scottish independence shows your lack of understanding. The UK is a bipartite Union. One party ends the union it is over – finished. It is not a 28 partner Union like the EU.

          If you don’t know these facts hardly my fault or the Scottish independence movement. Blame the lying Britnat politicians and Britnat media.

      • Fredi

        “the UK is the British empire. ”

        More complete bilge, the UK is just a small country with a largish economy, there is no ’empire’.

        • Cubby

          Fredi

          The UK is the dirty fag end of the British Empire but Westminster and some UK inhabitants still retain a supremacist and colonial mindset.

          The Falklands islands. Gibraltar Chagos and a whole host of empire territories/dominions etc etc dotted around the world.

        • fwl

          Have a read of :

          Scotland and the British Empire

          by professors MacKenzie and Devine on (and I paraphrase from the Oxford Scholarship online abstract)

          the extraordinary influence of Scots in the British Empire as administrators, settlers, temporary residents, professionals, plantation owners, and military personnel in North America, the Caribbean, Australasia, South Africa, India, and colonies in South-East Asia and Africa where they brought distinctive Scottish experience.

    • Cubby

      Skye Mull

      Whose fault is it that you are so ignorant of the difference between Scotland being in the EU and the UK? I’ll let you think about that for a wee while.

    • DuckyLucky

      The SNP wanting independence from the UK, then wishing to join a political union (the EU) makes absolutely no logical sense whatsoever. It’s a complete contradiction in terms.

      • Cubby

        Ducklucky

        Naw in your mind that is bereft of the facts and reasons it may not make sense and be a contradiction but it makes complete sense to the majority who vote for it.

        • D MacDonald

          Fact and reason are not in your lexicon cubby just like the majority you claim, which does not exist, except in your fevered imagination. To you, everyone who disagrees with you is a roaster or a troll. By the way it’s no not naw learn to use the Queen’s English.

          • Cubby

            D (Diddy) MacDonald

            I said your earlier post was wrong in nearly every aspect – I assuming you got your name correct since you seem so fixated on it. So I will challenge each of them in turn if I can be bothered.

            First of all, In your earlier post you stated Scotland was bankrupt when the Treaty of union was signed. How was that the case in 1707 – did the country state it was bankrupt did the country apply to be declared bankrupt on a national register of bankrupt countries. No. Just Britnat propaganda. The reality is that England had run up massive debts through waging non stop wars – pretty much like the UK in present times. Individuals in the Scottish parliament had run up debts through being conned into investing in the Darien scheme and were then subsequently open to “persuasion” to ratify the Treaty. Individuals are not the country/Kingdom.

            I may post more on all your other factual errors – depends if you want to learn or just remain ignorant or are just a Britnat troll.

          • Cubby

            D MacDonald

            I guess it is a naw to wanting to learn and an aye to remaining ignorant.

            ” Queens English” no such thing just a term used by people trying to act superior but just end up sounding pompous. If you disagree direct me to the patent or the bill of sale/receipt where the Queen of Scots purchased or invented English.

  • Kathleen Harden

    I will comply with your request to donate £2.00 per month i.e. Jan. 2020 thru June 2020. Thereafter, it will depend upon what action, if any has commenced or is planned. PS: Shortage of Banks in my rural area means I shall send a cheque for £12.00 direct to your bank a/c. Should you wish to contact me, please do so via my email. PS: I trust that Nicola has copies of your views.

  • giyane

    Boris Johnson supports the irrefutable right of the predecessors of our Christian European heritage, to shoot, torture and bomb the legal owners of Palestine. Those predecessors were militarily overthrown and dispersed by the pre-Christian Roman Empire on account of their refusal to recognise the prophet ‘Isa [ alaihi salam } otherwise known as Jesus. Instead, the new Christian Diaspora spread their Christian message to Greece and Rome and then to Europe, Africa, and the Americas. So imho Boris Johnson’s support for Zionism places him very much on the wrong side of history because he supports an aggressive state that stands for the opposite of our shared Christian heritage.

    In fact the entire model for Boris Johnson’s Britain is the zionist model, that we as a nation have an exceptional right of self-government without the constraints of EU and international Law and we as a nation are fighting a backfoot action against being overwhelmed by Brussells. England is the poor little rich girl who mismanaged her economy by liberalising banking and penalising manufacture, who is now claiming to the British Public, us, that foreigners and fellow Europeans are the cause of all our ills, when in fact it is Thatcherism, the selling of national assets, the ending of financial regulation and laissez-faire unwillingness to make design and make things here, that has caused our national poverty and failure.

    Furthermore, the refugee problems that we may have encountered are the result of endless wars fought in the interests of establishing Israel as a proxy colonial power in the Middle East, and the Eastern Europeans we have encountered are here by legal process of invitation and participation in the EU’s policy of free movement. These two things being government legislated, the government should carry the entire burden of blame for the consequences of its own decisions. Thus they should have restrained themselves from carpet bombing sovereign nations like Iraq and Libya, and they should have facilitated the arrival of the Eastern Europeans they invited here.

    Scotland has an inalienable right to carry on in the course on which British politicians placed us, inside the EU and restrained by the EU from destroying our neighbours’ livelihoods and habitations. If Scotland is removed , by Independence , from the Zionist wars that have dogged us for 40 years of my life, then I agree with Craig that now is the moment for Scotland to declare independence. ASAP. But if independence does not achieve that goal, what’s the point of it all? There are Christian politics which are based on the merciful ethics of Christianity and there are nominally Christian politics like Boris Johnson’s which are in fact Zionist, the predecessors to Chritianity. There are Muslim politics which are founded on Islam and there are Islamist politics, like those of Al Qaida and Daesh which are founded on and supported by Zionist ethics that are not merciful at all.

    Does Scottish Independence offer an escape route from the merciless politics of Zionism and neo-colonialism and bring Scotland back to our Christian, altruistic heritage? Islam is supposed to ally itself with the latter, not the former. There is no such thing as a Muslim supporting Zionism just because Boris Johnson has blonde and therefore ostensibly Christian hair. Yes, that’s the reality of our celebrity culture:
    Obviously Boris is one of us because he’s got blonde hair. ???!!!

  • Paul Murray

    I like the cut of you jib Sir!

    I do have to question your advice on declaring Independence, recalling MP’s etc and then holding a confirmatory referendum.
    Should that not all happen in reverse??

    • Fredi

      “Should that not all happen in reverse??”

      Of course it should, but those so ‘blinded with fervour’ cannot see the blinking obvious.

    • Giyane

      Paul Murray

      You like the cut of his jib, but you think he’s glued his mainsails on the wrong way round. Oh dear , he’s stuck his rudder where the poop should be and the crow”s nest in the bilges.

      If the Tories have discovered a failsafe method of rigging elections , by arming a Tory stooge with an encyclopedic record of every voter’s profile, otherwise known as a referenda
      Bender, the result would be against independence.

      Again.

      In this 13/12/19 election they left all compliant Blairites in place. Thus all compliant SNP MPs are welcome to Westminster. Hence Johnson’s sneers at both Jeremy Corbyn and Nicola Sturgeon. He thinks he owns both of their parties and he probably does own the whole cringing wreck of the HoC.

      In order to bypass corruption in politics it is sometimes necessary to be bold and controversial. That surely what Craig is telling us is necessary to circumvent vested interests.
      Even if in the interests of diplomacy he may not have put it as bluntly . All MPs are bribeable in reality and that us the nature of the modern world.

  • Republicofscotland

    I think what we need right now is a poll to determine where exactly we are with regards to the percentage of folk in Scotland who support a second indyref and independence for that matter.

    I’m quietly confident it’s over the 50% mark. From there on we can decide which direction to take.

    • Republicofscotland

      Re my above comment I think James Kelly of Scots Goes PoP, in about to conduct a poll to find out roughly where we stand. Anything above 50% should be used as a catalyst to push on somehow.

  • Muscleguy

    In terms of ‘sending in the army’ the UKgov choice is they cannot use the Scottish regiments since they cannot predict how the squaddies will react. Using them risks their defection to Scotgov. Similarly wrt Welsh or Irish troops. So English troops and the Gurkha legionnaires are the only choice making it look like an invasion of foreign troops to Scottish residents.

    With Polis Scotland under the command and control of Holyrood it risks pitting armed polis against armed squaddies.

    And it isn’t just taking Holyrood which would suffice ScotGov could go on the road as they do anyway making WM chase them and meanwhile the cities and towns erupt in civil disobedience and local declarations of independence with polis standing by and smiling. Does the English army have enough spare troops to occupy all of Scotland and pacify us? Because that may be what it takes.

    Here in the radical people’s republic of Dundee our council could declare independence and dare the army to do anything about it. Only two approaches to Dundee so we will see them coming and prepare. The Tay bridge will be trivial to blockade leaving one across the open flats of the Tay flood plain and under the walls of Kinnoul hill outside Perth, a difficulty choke point if Perth rises.

    That is just Dundee. WM could find themselves holding a pointless piece of central Edinburgh and nothing else. The history of Scotland is that when fighting England for our Independence holding Edinburgh is not necessary. The Kingdom of Alba when it was constituted didn’t own the Lothians. They had to be wrested from Northumbria. Troops in Edinburgh will need supply with long, vulnerable supply lines.

    All this under the intense glare of the world’s 24/7 media. The US media will see echoes of their War of Independence, the French will recall the Auld Alliance, the Russians Barclay de Tolly and other Scots who helped build Russia. Norway would recall our old ties. Only the BBC would give another slant and they would be exposed to the ridicule as they do so.

    I’m sure UKGov and their advisors know all this too.

    • Republicofscotland

      “In terms of ‘sending in the army’ the UKgov choice is they cannot use the Scottish regiments since they cannot predict how the squaddies will react. Using them risks their defection to Scotgov. Similarly wrt Welsh or Irish troops. So English troops and the Gurkha legionnaires are the only choice making it look like an invasion of foreign troops to Scottish ”

      There is history here during the early 20th century and the Red Clydeside uprising in which thousands downed tools seeking a shorter working day, they wanted a 48 hour week I think.

      George Sq in Glasgow saw tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands of folk gather to listen to the likes of Manny Shinwell speak. The Westmister government fearing a communist uprising in Scotland first thought about sending in Scottish troops from the Barracks army base in Maryhill.

      However they decided against it fearing Scottish troops might be sympathetic to their cause. So troops were sent up from Newcastle along with tanks to quell the protesters, however if memory serves me I think they won the reduction in working hours in a day.

      As Chomsky noted the government has the power, but the people also have the power, if they recognise it, and know how to use it.

  • William MacDougall

    If the Scottish and English UK government in Westminster had refused a referendum like Spain and Serbia you might have a case. But it agreed to a referendum and the separatists duly and clearly lost, even with their own biased wording and a gerrymandered electorate. And another referendum will be held within a generation, so it’s only the timing that’s being refused. The EU referendum was a vote on whether all the UK should stay or leave held two years after Scotland had voted to accept UK wide decisions on such matters, so it is not a valid argument. So I don’t think an illegally separated Scotland would gain recognition. In any case, how often would you permit referendums on rejoining the UK for an independent Scotland?

    • Juteman

      @William MacDougallmyarse.
      A gerrymandered electorate you say? That will be the electorate with 500,000 English folk that were given the vote?
      A genuine Union would enable both partners to have as many referendums as they wanted. Any thing else is colonisation by the bigger partner.

      • William MacDougall

        French children in Scotland as one year exchange students could vote, Scots in England and abroad for a year or two could not. It ought to be the same electorate as used for the UK Parliament and and for the Euro referendum. Selecting a different electorate because you think it might improve your chances is gerrymandering.
        And you still haven’t answered my question: if Scotland separates, how soon could another referendum be held on the option of rejoining the UK? I’d be surprised if the SNP agreed to one only three years later.

        • mogabee

          Exchange students on the electoral roll? You’re havering man.
          Residence in Scotland is the only way to run a referendum concerning membership of UK by folk in Scotland. Tired of folk moaning about this. Pointless and irrelevant. Also, the electoral commission were involved so fuck off with yer ‘gerrymandering’ claim.

          If folk want to build a party etc to rejoin with England at a later stage, carry on…as long as you realise you need to actually WIN elections!

          • William MacDougall

            16 year old French exchange students were counted as residents. Scots temporarily outside Scotland were not. Both decisions are wrong and constitute gerrymandering. Elections are normally restricted to citizens.

          • mogabee

            Unless the students were on the electoral roll they will not have a vote. Why would they be on the roll if they were here for a year?

            Stop lying.

        • Cubby

          William MacDougall

          It should be the same as the UK. Why is the Uk so good. Why should the electorate be the same. The UK excluded most EU Nationals from voting in the EU referendum even if they had lived here for forty years. Of course Irish republic and Commonwealth citizens could vote in the EU REFERENDUM if they were in the UK even for a short time.

          This simple idea that because it is the UK it is the best is well…… wrong.

          The independence referendum gave the EU nationals the vote because it was the right thing to do
          and the Britnats told them to vote no or they would be out the EU. Well most voted no and they will be out the EU in a few days. That of course refers to the ones that have not left already. How is that gerrymandering. I would say it is more like lies from the Britnats.

          I’ll answer your question about how soon another referendum. As soon as a party gets a democratic mandate to do so. I thought it was obvious but happy to help you out.

          • William MacDougall

            In most countries voting is done by citizens, not by residents. I.e. immigrants are counted if they have bothered to show a commitment to the area by becoming citizens, but if they haven’t it is assumed their loyalties lie elsewhere. Meanwhile citizens who are outside the area for short periods of their lives are also counted as they are assumed to intend to return and therefore have a great interest in the result.
            Children are also excluded by most countries on the grounds that their judgement is too inexperienced and ill-informed.
            The electorate for UK elections and referendums is right on both counts because of these arguments, not because it’s British. The Scottish Parliament and referendum electorate is biased by failing on these arguments.
            As for frequency of referendums, on important constitutional issues it’s rather a good idea to have some stability and predictability, so requiring a gap – say a generation – between referendums is rather a good idea. It’s not undemocratic to require that people make up their minds one way or the other…

          • Cubby

            William MacDougall

            Good attempt at defending the undefendable.

            1. The EU citizens did not need to take out British citizenship because we are all in the EU.
            Some democrat you – a Britnat democrat – denying the vote to people who have lived all their adult lives for decades in the UK and some from being very young children. The only gerrymandering going on is from the Brexiteers and the Britnats. If all EU citizens were allowed a vote in EU referendum then the result would have been reversed. That’s what you don’t like to hear.
            I am sure you would have been the type of person in previous years who would have denied the vote to women – “too inexperienced and ill informed”. If you are old enough to work get married pay taxes then you deserve a say.

            Also you conveniently ignore the point I made about Commonwealth citizens getting a vote – Australians/Jamaicans/Kiwis who may only be in the UK for a couple of years. Kinda blows your main argument about the UK system being best sky high. Oh and of course Republic of Ireland citizens are in the EU getting a vote but a Frenchman who lived in Scotland for forty years and was an MSP in the Scottish parliament does not get the vote. No your viewpoint is more down to a mindset which says UK is always best and Scotland is always second best. Your argument is not sound.

            2. Switzerland has referendums all the time and I mean all the time. One of the richest countries per head in the world. Doesn’t seem a problem to them. Sorry but you are a typical undemocratic Britnat. If the people of Scotland want to exercise their sovereign right in Scots law – claim of right – to choose the government they want only undemocratic fascists think that democracy for Scotland stopped in 2014.

          • William MacDougall

            PS EU Citizens are not British or Scottish; they can fairly easily become so, British at least, if they want. If they don’t it says something about their commitment to Britain.

            Commonwealth citizens, for historical reasons, are rightly considered more “British” than other immigrants (after all, many held “British” passports within living memory) and have always had the vote in Britain. If you want to discuss removing that privilege, be my guest.

            Irish citizens have similar historical arguments for the franchise, plus a treaty obligation that would be problematical to end.

            Re frequency of referendums, over-frequency has been a great problem in California, but anyway no one is saying never another IndyRef, just that you should wait a while and not have “neverendum”.

          • Cubby

            William MacDougall

            I know all the background you post so no need for the history lesson. The point which you choose to ignore because obviously you cannot accept when you lose an argument is that you said the UK is best because only British citizens are allowed to vote- I destroyed that so try and just acknowledge that instead of prattling on about stuff that I already know. More evidence that you are a roaster. Also that comment about people being “more British” says a lot about you.

            You now claim that no one is saying never again. Rubbish that is exactly what Britnats are saying. It’s fascism and sadly there are people in the UK who are very comfortable with that – the more British is it William. That’s right the British who invaded murdered and looted around the world for centuries. Australia not British enough to agree a trade deal with the UK but give them the vote because they are more British than EU citizens who have lived all their lives in the UK.

            “Just that you should wait a while” well well more fascist talk. Who should tell us that – that’s right the Tories who have never won an election in Scotland versus the SNP who have won the last NINE elections in Scotland. We defeated German fascists in WW2 not going to have my voting rights taken away by British fascists.

    • Cubby

      William MacDougall

      You are poorly informed or a total roaster/troll.

      1.For starters Alister Jackboot said on Sunday on BBC Politics Scotland no more independence referendums ever no matter how Scots vote. That is fascism and colonialism.

      2. Under the claim of right if you ask the people of Scotland how they want to be governed their answer has to be respected as they are sovereign so your UK wide comment is nonsense.

      3. The 2016 referendum is more recent than the 2014 referendum so that takes precedent. So again your comment is nonsense based on a lack of info/understanding or you are a troll.

      4. How often would you permit referendums you ask. In a democracy as often as the people vote for them.

      • William MacDougall

        1 – No, Jack said a separation referendum could be held “about once in a generation and once in a lifetime, that’s what people voted for.” He did not say none ever again.
        2 – Their answer is respected; they voted to stay in the Union.
        3 – The 2016 referendum did not conflict with the 2014 referendum, so there’s no issue of precedence.
        4 – I doubt the SNP would allow another referendum only a few years after the first vote for separation, not clear they would allow another at all.
        Who is a troll? Anyone who dares to disagree with you?

        • Cubby

          William MacDougall

          1. “That’s what people voted for” no they didn’t. Just lies. Why have Britnats got a genetic fault that makes them lie. Take that away and analyse that you roaster. I’ll repeat no one voted on the basis of once in a generation or once in a lifetime because it is just a lie. Jackboot says in a lifetime – people can live up to 100 years that means never you roaster. Fascism and colonialism with Vichy Scot Alister Jackboot.

          2. Are you deliberately dense. 2016 comes after 2014 therefore a vote to stay in the EU takes precedent over the 2014 vote.

          3. Deliberately being dense again. Vote to stay in EU conflicts with staying in the UK. Only a roaster would say otherwise.

          4. Just dense people who deliberately tell lies are roasters and trolls. You fit the bill nicely.

  • Republicofscotland

    Well that’s it then Brexits off, Boris Johnson forgot to ask the EU for a S30.

    Meanwhile the Labour branch office in Scotland breaks new ground.

    “Scottish Labour now has more unelected than elected members of Parliament.
    26 ‘Scottish Peers’ in the Lords.
    23 MSPs in Holyrood.
    1 MP in Westminster.”

    • Cubby

      ROS

      Scottish Labour the party of the people. What a bunch of hypocrites they are.

      These Brexiteers complain about the lack of democracy in the EU how about the lack of democracy in Scotland. Colonial governor Alister Jackboot declares democracy stopped in Scotland in 2014.

  • M.J.

    The big difference betweern Scotland and the Baltic States is thaty Stalin invaded them as part of his deal with HItler. SCotland and England united voluntarily. I was not aware that the SNP leadership had agreed that the referendum should be a once-in-a-generation affair, but i am happy to hold them to it, as Boris has done. His word has greater weight than any other politician precisely because he is Prime Mininster.
    As for Scottish UDI, if you think that recognition by the UN would be easy, try and say which countries would recognise it, and how probable it would be that they would carry a majority in the UN General Assemnbly. I have my doubts.

    • Hazel

      The people of Scotland had no say in the Act of Union 1707. Hence ‘united voluntarily’ is rather a stretch. Easy to check out re the rioting in the streets of Edinburgh at the time. Only 100 odd of Scotland’s men had any say in the Union happening. Twas ever thus!!

    • Cubby

      MJ

      You are full of lies just like your boss the great liar Johnson. No one agreed that it was a once in a generation referendum. Britnats just making up crap because they own the media and can get away with it unchallenged.
      If you believe it give us the reference where it was agreed in a formal document.

      Of course if you knew anything about Scottish politics you would know that the Smith Commision document that followed on from the 2014 referendum contains a section stating that there is nothing to stop Scotland proceeding in the future to independence if it so wishes. Now this document was an officially signed document by all political parties.

      So your master Boris is telling porkies and you are either knowingly or in ignorance passing them on. Care to apologise.

      PS Your master Boris did promise to die in a ditch – when is that going to happen?

      • M.J.

        Cubby, I don’t support the Tories, in fact I remember jokingly citing Boris’ promise to die in a ditch (unfulfilled) against him. I note that the SNP’s leadership haven’t denied that they agreed that the referendum would be a once in a generation thing. The Smith Commission was about added devolved powers only, which is precisely why Sturgeon said that it didn’t amount to home rule (though she welcomed what it did offer). On the subject of voluntary union, what do you supose the 2014 referendum was about? And the voters of Scotland voted, to STAY in the UK. VOLUNTARILY AND DEMOCRATICALLY.
        So stay they shall, For at least a generation, anyway, If Scotland parts from the UK, it won’t be in my lifetime.

        • MJ

          “I note that the SNP’s leadership haven’t denied that they agreed that the referendum would be a once in a generation thing”

          It was probably a propaganda device, intended to boost support for independence. An “it’s now or never!” thing.

        • Cubby

          MJ

          I don’t give a toss if you support Johnson you are a Britnat who supports his lies. No one voted for a lifetime or a generation and you are just ignoring what was said in the signed document of the Smith Commision so that makes you a liar. The SNP have refuted this nonsense and you have failed to say where it was agreed.

          Apart from that the infamous vow broke the Edinburgh Agreement so it wasn’t even a fair and honest election.

    • William MacDougall

      Actually the United Kingdom began when the Scottish King took over England in 1603 – the Union Flag and the name were in use soon after. Yes the Scottish Parliament’s vote a hundred years later to join with the English Parliament in Westminster was also significant.

    • Andrew (Andy) Crow

      “….try and say which countries would recognise it,…”

      One will do.

      One has a track record.

  • Northern

    Good article Craig which I broadly agree with the thrust of. Can we say whether there’s any connection between the hypothetical discussed here and reality though? Everything I’ve seen in the last few years would seem to indicate the SNP will do anything but declare independence? It’s good to see your able to adjust your position on this from a couple of years ago, even if a lot of your commentators are still wedded to the SNP vehicle.

    Gentle reminder to please distinguish between the English people and the Westminster government. Of course for the most part its obvious whether people are referring to the people or the state but some people seem to forget we wear the same yoke whether you like it or not.

  • remember kronstadt

    Moving to Canada is trending at the moment? Oh, sorry you’ve tried that already.

    • Victor Mise

      As a Canadian of Scottish descent, “migrated” by the Duke of sutherland I take great offence from your snide remark.

      • JOML

        Victor, on every occasion I’ve climbed Ben Bhraggie, I find a quiet moment to urinate on the Duke’s statue. I took the idea from friends who went to school in Golspie, who told me that many stopped to urinate on the Duke during their cross-country runs! Personal bests were secondary…

  • Joanne Travis

    Your writing and research, shows clearly our rights. I believe that the Scottish parliament needs more voices of logic and knowledge, to speak out and share as much of this information, as they can.
    We need more people, like yourself, to spread more positivity of what our rights are and what we have to offer!?
    Thankyou for your blogg. I can only pray that 1000’s of people read this and understand what it really means to fight for their land.

  • Vivian O'Blivion

    Declaring Holyrood 2021 an erstaz IndyRef II and announcing UDI (result depending) may be fun. It would be self defeating for the Unionist parties to boycott it as they could a non-binding IndyRef. Unionist, local authorities would be duty bound to comply. Holyrood 2021 will come only an insignificant number of months later than the earliest of non-binding IndyRefs. Things that will / may happen ‘tween now and then.
    Big Ben sounds off at the end of the month at £45K per bong.
    Nigel Farage has his Brexit celebration in Parliament square. “For decent, ordinary people ONLY.”
    The Festival of Brexit, est. £120m.
    Mark Francois spontaneously combusts.
    Phil the Greek pops his clogs, to be followed by North Koreanesque mourning in England given saturation coverage on the airwaves for days.

  • Dungroanin

    Establishing quantitatively the desire of Scots to persue independence before declaring it would be the way forward.

    Maybe a fractious referendum is not the best way. Especially if the Electoral Commission is untrustworthy and many are disenfranchised.

    A direct house by house response from all adults (and near adults?) for all inhabitants could be organised. Quickly and relatively cheaply – perhaps as part of a slightly earlier census undertaken by the Scottish Parliament.

    Why not?

    The results would immediately inform the MSP’s of their constituents wishes and allow them to vote for Independence accordingly.
    No need for a referendum!

  • Martinned

    The short answer is that everything you need to know about Scottish independence is in the Catalunya story:

    If you want to be independent, you need one of two things. The consent of the (former) parent country or the willingness and ability to win your independence over the barrel of a gun. Catalunya has neither, and Scotland is currently in the same boat.

    Think of the Irish experience. After previous failures, the Irish Republican Brotherhood was founded in 1858. But they didn’t actually take up arms against the British until 1917. They spent the entire intervening period recruiting, organising, accumulating weapons, and occasionally doing a bit of terrorism. Creating a similar militia in Scotland might not take 60 years, but it would take 20.

    • mogabee

      Get yourself sorted!

      There’ll be nae guns, nae violence, nae eejit ranting oan a website is going to change that.

      But then, you do like a wee rant…

    • Republicofscotland

      “The short answer is that everything you need to know about Scottish independence is in the Catalunya story:”

      I’m afraid you’re way off base on thjs one Martinned. Scotland has been an independent country since around the mid 9th century. Which completely different from the history of Catalonia.

      However where I agree with you is that, like Spain with Catalonia, England is denying Scotland democracy.

  • Janet Sinclair

    I find this very interesting I have long been a proponent for Scottish independence in fact yesterday I had a keyboard battle with a few English people who think they have the right to tell us what we can and can’t do, we are the only nation who has oil that’s never benefited from it and neither has the north of England either for that matter. I was also surprised to find out that the day before devolution Tony Blair secretly stole 600miles of our sea by changing the established boundaries and it contained seven oil fields, this was done mainly to stop this being a source of revenue that could be claimed in any independence referendum for Scotland’s future. I just realised it was Craig Murray that made this very video I saw and he said we could reclaim this in a maritime court however it clearly shows the devious nature of Westminster.
    I was discussing independence last night with my son and I said as you have Westminster will never give us independence through any route because like any colony and I believe that we are one in the eyes of Westminster we will have to fight for it and I would without any compulsion

    • Giyane

      Janet Sinclair

      ” We are the only nation that has oil which has not benefitted by it. ”

      Please ask a Somali or a Kurdish refugee if they agree.
      If it wasn’t already historically flattened and subordinate one would expect Woaded nationalists to be leaving suicide bombs in Edinburgh shopping centres until you submitted your oil for British exclusive use.

      Of course it may yet come to that…

  • Neil

    Would it be legal for Scotland to hold a referendum on whether or not the people of Scotland would like a referendum?

  • Mary

    Ian Blackford

    ‘TORY cabinet ministers have privately conceded that “Westminster cannot keep saying no” to a second referendum on independence, the SNP’s Ian Blackford has claimed.

    In an interview with The Herald, the Westminster party chief said Boris Johnson knows he will have to grant a Section 30 order in the future.

    The SNP MP said: “I have had conversations with a number of Conservative ministers privately and they understand that this is a line which is going to be difficult to hold in the longer term.”‘
    13th January 2020
    https://www.thenational.scot/news/18156281.ian-blackford-claims-tories-know-grant-s30-order/

    Today at PMQs, following Jeremy Corbyn and Robert Halfon.

    https://hansard.parliament.uk/commons/2020-01-15/debates/2CA2C0F3-F47F-4201-AFB2-3D951B3C2F29/Engagements

  • Phillip

    My question to Craig is:

    What countries would recognise Scotland if the MPs/MEPs/MSPs got together tomorrow and declared independence?

    It is my assessment that there would be none.

    Therefore the route to independence will have to be via a referendum first.

    • Republicofscotland

      “It is my assessment that there would be none.”

      And pray tell how where is your evidence to support this?

      • Phillip

        When Catalonia declared independence no full member states of the UN recognised this declaration,

        Therefore that is why my opinion is that for Scotland to be an independent state it needs to do so via a referendum in agreement with the UK government.

        Personally I am neutral on the issue of individual states within the UK leave or remain. But I do think that post Brexit we do need to review our constitutional settlement and move from the unwritten to the formal written constitution. And get rid of the monarchy at the same time!

        • Cubby

          Philippine

          There is a reason after 312 years of existence the UK has not got a written constitution and it’s not there has not been any time to get around to it. Nearly all countries in the world have managed to get around to writing a constitution.

          The other Kingdom – The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia also has no written constitution. Some company the UK keeps.

  • Falcore

    Didn’t work out so well for Kosovo now did it ?

    Unilaterally declaring independence may well please half the population of Scotland, what about the other half ?

    The British Army may need to be deployed to stop the civil war that would erupt in Scotland.

    You are making your assessment on the assumption that most Scots support independence, without any evidence to support that theory bar a few sketchy opinion polls.

    Dangerous words, dangerous consequences……..

  • Ben

    Care to wager, Craig?

    SHRUMP! was a running joke. Now hes making America Grate and it looks like he’ll get reelected as the Republic dies of neglect. The Zeitgeist is written on the Wall.

    Making America grate is a heavy responsibility..

    “I’m also approving new dishwashers that give you more water, so you can actually wash and rinse your dishes without having to do it 10 times – four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, 10,” he said, likely attacking Department of Energy regulations.

    “Sinks, toilets and showers, you don’t get any water. They put restrictors on and now they made them permanent.

    “You go into the shower – and I have this beautiful head of hair, I need a lot of water – and you turn on the water [and] drip, drip, drip. I call the guy, ‘something wrong with this?’ ‘No, sir, it’s just the restrictor’. So you’re in there five times longer than you’re supposed to be, you use probably more water and it’s a very unpleasant experience. We’re getting rid of the restrictors, you’re going to have full shower flow, full sink.”

    • IMcK

      I think most of the commenters on here have got their heads buried far too deep in the sand to assimilate that analysis

    • pete

      I have read the short piece you have cited by the lawyer, and I assume that you are aware that the author’s argument ignores certain facts that would support the independence move. In particular that Catalan’s limited autonomy has now been compromised and a form of direct rule imposed on the region and that some of it’s former leaders are now effectively in exile. Did you just forget this?

      • Mrs Pau!

        I assume you are saying that subsequent events after their referendum drew Catonia closer to the Kosovo model to qualify for independence. I am not aware that this has hppened in Scotland yet..When Westminster suspend the Scottish Parliament to impose direct rule or imprison SNP. Leaders or send them into exile.

  • JamesHugh

    As you’ve noted previously Craig, it’s unlikely that the current SMP’s are bold enough to step into this action, but it’s good to know that it exists as an option..

    The big question for me, is would the UK and the USA let us go so easily seeing as how we harbour their nuclear subs?

    • Giyane

      JamesHugh

      Subs, even nuclear ones, are quite capable of being propelled independently to somewhere else. Perhaps Tel Aviv would like them. The whole point about leaving the serfdom to England is to not pay for British war crimes. A much better way of living in peace with your neighbours is not to threaten the interests of other nations on a daily basis. We could start by not droning their generals so that the Zionist controller of Islamic State Brett MacGurk, can be installed in Iraq.

      There is no point in leaving the UK unless you leave the ultra corrupt zionist Empire at the same time. You know, the one that renditions Muslims to become psychopaths in order to denigrate the name of a rival religion, not our Queen’s.
      Harry dun it.it could be a trend.

    • nevermind

      Any new deal should have the whole middle east coveted , not just Iran but all other states, rogue in UN eyes or a compliant state. To have a nuclear deal that creates instability by allowing secret capacities to anihilate others, willneverstop the urge to posess, the chance to a reciproke a nuclear attack, or to answer to the threats from surrounding states.

      Any Trump deal must include Israels secret nuclear arsenal? Now acknowledged in a Gaffe from its current Zionist leader, as he is trying to survive serious fraud charges by engaging in an election/coalition merrygoround for all to see, cannot be ignored by the signatories to the NNPT.

      • Ben

        Ambitious proposal..

        How would you first lay the groundwork for Israeli capitulation to such an agreement?

        Some suggest no difference between US leaders…might as well be Trump.

        • Nevermind

          Via sanctions and a refusal to pay for their various nefarious schemes, land steals and more.
          To asume that everyone would be happy with stealing land, between the Nile and Euphratus rivers apparently, and protecting one’s loot with nuclear weapons, backed up by the biggest terrorist organisation in the world and the Monroe doctrine, would be a disservice the the worlds population, Ben.

          • Ben

            You left out all the steps leading to sanctions.

            How would you market that objective to the decision makers?

  • Roxane Copping

    Has it not come to light that the majority of Scotland wishes to remain with the U.K.Why can’t the S N P. Wake up and try to run the country they are so happy to destroy.

    • Mary

      There won’t be much left of the country which belongs to its people. It’s being sold off.

      A comment from another source –

      ‘I’ve just started reading a book called The New Enclosure by Brett Christophers. It details the largest privatisation of the last 40 years, a privatisation by stealth that has been little reported or acknowledged, the privatisation of land.

      He reckons that about 2 billion hectares or about 10% of the entire British land mass has been sold off since 1979. He says that, at today’s prices, this is worth about £400 billion.’

      I found this from 2014.
      ‘Wealthy foreigners buy up swaths of UK farmland and country estates
      Estate agents report rising interest from China, Middle East and Scandinavia with sporting estates ‘top of Christmas wish lists’
      17 Jan 2014
      https://www.theguardian.com/business/2014/jan/17/foreigners-buy-uk-farmland-estates

      • Giyane

        Mary

        Hi. No doubt the ponzi schemes on which the Tories sell the land are protected by commercial confidentiality.

  • Ben

    Shortly, many in UK will have to eat the Crow of Trump dismissal. He and Boris will bury you otherwise. In fact, it might be too late.

    • Republicofscotland

      “Is that bait? I’ve seen plenty of it here, but I what I like is most of the posters are too smart to take the bait. ”

      Explain please.

      • Republicofscotland

        “So to keep it simple, you had a link, you requested a response. Seems like bait to me. Is that satisfactory?”

        The comment was addressed to Craig, however Buffalo_Ken, if you wish to show up with your candle in hand, I’m sure you’ll be most welcome, as will anyone else who shows up.

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